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Wild Ducks

Juan says that hanging around watching Roly paint birds is sending him insane with boredom, I agree and point out that, not only is it mind-rottingly dull, but we can't spare the time as we are cripplingly behind schedule. However, Roly says that now he has got the hang of painting flying birds, he wants to paint some wild ducks. I say that George Rankin has already painted some perfectly acceptable wild ducks so it seems pointless to paint them again, but Roly says that George’s ducks weren’t flying, and any half-wit can draw ducks when they're standing on the ground, but it takes real artistry to paint them when they're flying. Juan asks why we can't just find domesticated ducks and poke them with a stick, that would make them wild, then we can throw them in the air and Roly can paint them. Roly says that that wouldn't work as wild ducks and domestic ducks are entirely different creatures. Juan asks what the difference is and Roly explains that the difference between wild and domesticated ducks is the same as the difference between wild and domesticated children. The average domestic child is an apathetic, slothful, overweight, dull-eyed, lifeless, dim, sort of creature that doesn't do anything much, just lies around, feeling sorry for itself, and waiting for its mother to feed it, whereas wild children are so busy swimming, fishing, climbing, fighting, exploring the world and getting into trouble that just getting them into the house is an achievement, and keeping them there is impossible. Juan says that all his children are like that, Roly says he's not surprised; just then, two wild ducks fly overhead and Roly goes tearing off after them, shouting over his shoulder that we should do something useful until he gets back.

The most useful thing we can think to do is to break open our Vintage Littlemill, Springbank, Longmorn, and Tomintoul Private Reserve, and offer toast after toast to all undomesticated creatures. By the time Roly returns, waving his canvas around, yelling that he succeeded in painting flying ducks, we are far too befuddled to do much more than raise our glasses and salute his skill, blow up our bagpipes, and, playing Donald Macgillavry', 'Donald of Dundee' and 'Donald is No More', dance around in wild, exuberant, circles, as fast as we possibly can.

Professor Humperdink's Diary